This recipe makes one kilo (2.2 lbs) of bread dough.
1st day – make a levain preferment
25-35 gr starter
100 gr Heritage White or Sifted flour
75-100 gr non-chlorinated water, 70-85 F
Mix thoroughly by hand so that all the flour and water are combined with the starter. Leave on kitchen counter over night or for about 12 hours in cool weather. In very warm weather it may take only 4-5 hours to become active enough to make bread dough.
To the 200 gr levain add:
450-500 gr non-chlorinated water, 70-85 degrees (it depends on how stiff the levain is and how hydrated you want your final dough)
800 gr Heritage White or Sifted flour
1 Tbsp sea salt, scattered over the flour (we prefer Real brand salt. It has lots of minerals)
Mix thoroughly – this can be done by stand mixer but it’s preferable to use your hands. It can be a bit messy. Wetting your hands a couple of times while you’re mixing helps. This mixing requires squeezing and turning the dough so everything mixes well.
Let rest 45 minutes
Fold and Stretch – Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto a clean surface. wet your hands and stretch and fold 5-10 times letting it rest a few minutes between stretches. Think of the round ball as a clock, pulling and stretching the four sides at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. You should feel the dough developing strength. This is a good video on kneading (YouTube – French Kneading with La Cocina de Babette)
Divide into two equal portions. Round each portion into balls and drag on a dry surface to create surface tension (YouTube – “Bread Dough: shaping a Boule”, by Weekend Bakery).
Proofing and baking using a banneton or bread pan. See each method below.
Bread Pan Method
Place divided dough in a pan greased with melted butter and coconut oil (use the two together. Using only one will cause sticking). cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in volume. Time may vary from 30-40 minutes to several hours depending on room temperature and strength of the starter. Score the top and bake in a preheated oven (at least one hour or more) at 450F for about 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200-210F.
Two Day Bread Pan Method
Divide and place dough in greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 nights. The dough will rise a little in the refrigerator and build flavor from the slower fermentation. Remove the dough 1-2 hours before baking. Let stand covered in a warm place. Score the top and place in preheated (at least one hour) 450F oven. Bake 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200-210F. If the crust is becoming too dark, make a tent cover out of foil and place over the pan for a portion of, or for the entire baking time to get the desired crust color and texture.
Place dough in a well-floured banneton seam side up. Let rise for 1-2 hours until you see a visible increase in size but before it doubles in size. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for 12-24 hours.
Preheat oven and Dutch oven at 450F for one hour.
Flour a peel or an inverted small baking sheet. Place the banneton on the peel/pan upside down so the dough falls onto it. Score the top of the loaf. Remove the cover from the Dutch oven and carefully slide the dough into it. Cover and bake 35 minutes or until the inside temperature is 200-210F.